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Hunger in the Valley of Plenty - Produced in association with the Center for Investigative Reporting

California's San Joaquin Valley is the country's most productive farm belt: its fertile orchards and fields generate most of the nation's fresh fruit and nuts. Yet for the people who work and live near these farms, access to healthy and fresh food can be a daily struggle.

Part 1
Hungry in Raisin City
Part 2
What's for lunch?
Part 3
Every Apple Counts
Part 1 of 3

Hungry in Raisin City

Jessica Ortiz struggles to figure out what to feed her five kids while her husband works in the vineyards and almond orchards. This feature paints an intimate portrait of the barriers to accessing healthy and affordable food for the families that harvest California's produce.

Part 2 of 3

What's for Lunch?

An estimated one in three children in the Central Valley lives in a home that experiences "food insecurity" - not knowing where their next meal is coming from. School meals are an important way to give children the nutrition they need, but Central Valley school districts struggle to source healthy, local food and combat childhood obesity.

Part 3 of 3

Every Apple Counts

Community members in the farmworker town of Pixley are improving their access to healthy food by rescuing produce from farms and backyards, and learning how to cook with home-grown vegetables.

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Hunger and Obesity in the Valley

Many of the towns featured in this series are in Tulare county, which struggles with high rates of obesity and food insecurity compared with the rest of the state.

By the numbers

Location Food Insecure Homes Obese Adults
California 34.8% 24.8%
Tulare Co. 43.8% 38%
Source: California Health Interview Survey

Radio Stories

This four-part radio series aired on The California Report in October.

This project is in collaboration with

Center for Investigative Reporting